By JUDY SHERIDAN
Aledo ISD trustees stopped short of approving about $568,000 for new computers for teachers last week, voting 5-1 to postpone the recommendation until specifics could be nailed down on the computers and their impact on the budget.
The money was slated to come from the fund balance for the general fund.
Voting in favor of the postponement were trustees Jay Stringer, Hoyt Harris, David Davis, Dr. David Tillman and Steve Bartley. Voting against was trustee Bobby Rigues. Trustee Johnny Campbell was absent.
“I’m all for technology upgrades,” Harris said. “I guess if we’re going to be asked to spend a half million dollars, I’d like to see a plan B, and I’d like to see in writing how it affects the budget.
“If we knew these were issues in the fall, I wish we wouldn’t have waited until this meeting for the pressure of “the teachers need it now.”
Harris also asked about leasing options, but Husfeld said the interest costs were prohibitive.
“If we’ve got them working on five- or six-year-old computers, that’s crazy as far as I’m concerned,” Davis said. “My only issue is that I’ve got a computer that I just bought for X amount of dollars, and I run my entire business with it, and I just sent my kid off to college with it.
“We’re buying 524 units and paying over $1,000? I’m having a hard time adding that up in my head. I’d at least like to see another option on there also to at least have something to compare it to.”
The bid description showed 122 desktop computers, 402 laptop computers and various number of monitors, sound bars, docking station stands and computer carrying cases.
Chief Financial Officer Earl Husfeld said administrators were recommending replacing the computers because most were purchased in 2008 and 2009. They are out of warranty and becoming difficult to maintain.
“They’re still functional, but it’s becoming impractical to meet present-day educational standards,” he said.
Husfeld said the technology subcommittee of the Aledo 2025 committee was looking at replacing student computers.
Approving the purchase in April would allow the district to distribute the computers to teachers before they leave for the summer, Husfeld said, facilitating the start of the next school year.
“They can come back in June and pick up their computers,” Superintendent Derek Citty assured the reluctant trustees. “If you all need to look at other options, we can certainly bring those back to you. It is a lot of money.”
In other business the school board:
• Learned the district saved almost $1.9 million during an April 1 bank qualified bond refunding, $200,000 more than expected.
• Approved the competitive sealed proposal procurement method as means to secure bids for traffic flow improvements to the McAnally Intermediate campus, which should lead to a bid award at the May 19 board meeting. In an update, Tom Rutledge of X, said TxDOT plans to widen FM Road 1187 along the north boundary of the school in August or September, as school is beginning.
“They will do some shoulder widening that will allow them to stripe a center turn lane at the intersection with FM Road 5 and moving to the east,” he said. “Also, they are going to provide a free right turn for traffic coming from the south, so when they get to the intersection they don’t have to stop.”
His firm had proposed a right turn into the intersection as part of the conceptual plan trustees approved in March, Rutledge said, but he would now like to put that on hold until TxDOT is finished, adding it later if needed.
• Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between AISD, Bell Helicopter and Weatherford College that outlines what each will contribute to a manufacturing and engineering program that high school students can participate in to secure dual credit, college opportunities and industry certifications.
• Approved hiring Mary Smith for the position of Career Tech Education Coordinator. Smith, with 26 years of education experience, worked with a team of educators to develop, promote and open the Hollenstein Career and Technology Center in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. Most recently she has worked in collaboration with NTSU and TCC in developing dual credit opportunities for students.
By JUDY SHERIDAN
- Aledo ExtrA
Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.
Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Developer withdraws site plan
ANNETTA —A controversial 34-home subdivision proposed for a 41-acre tract on Duncan Road will not go forward as planned, according to action taken by both the proposed developer and the Annetta Town Council after a public hearing Thursday night.
Aledo City Council to meet July 24
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Fires damage business, home
Two separate fires around 2 p.m. July 15 damaged a Willow Park business and destroyed the home of a Weatherford family.
Letter to the Editor
Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when State Representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.
ESD 1, Annetta South close on fire station site
Parker County Emergency Services District No. 1 and Annetta South officials said Tuesday that the ESD is homing in on a site for a new fire station to serve residents in the Annettas and surrounding areas. Annetta South is expected to consider a zoning change to accommodate a new station next month.
Registration has begun for Aledo ISD
Aledo ISD enrollment for the 2014-15 school year began yesterday, July 21, and students new to the district need to register before school begins, Monday, Aug. 25.
County scrambling to fill elections post
Former Parker County Assistant Elections Administrator Laura Watkins, who sought, but was not appointed to the post of Parker County Elections Administrator after Robert Parten retired, last week began work as assistant elections administrator for Palo Pinto County, Palo Pinto County Elections Administrator Judith Evans has confirmed.
Willow Park tackles 11-street project
The Willow Park City Council last week picked a list of 11 streets they’d like repaired as part of the city’s next road repair project, a significant portion of the 17-road, $850,000 list of needed repairs.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
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